McCain's "Farewell Address" Applies Right Now

    It was a passionate tirade against not following traditional Senate rules. He was speaking to his colleagues more than anyone else and trying to warn them that the way things were going they were ruining the Senate and probably the country and they would not be proud of it at the end of their lives. That they are not the House and they have special responsibilities. Exactly against the type of thing McConnell et. al. are doing now to ram the Kavanaugh hearing and vote through. And what they were doing then trying to pass a half-assed mess of a bill without following rules and working with those across the aisle. I wonder if supposed dear friends like Jeff Flake and Lindsay Graham are going to betray him and make him roll over in his grave by going along with McConnell's ram- it-through-plan for the Kavanaugh hearing without a murmur? I wish some reporters would bring that up with them, try to nudge their consciences.

     Let's return to regular order...

    ... an obligation to work collaboratively to ensure the Senate discharged its constitutional responsibilities effectively. Our responsibilities are important, vitally important, to the continued success of our Republic. And our arcane rules and customs are deliberately intended to require broad cooperation to function well at all. The most revered members of this institution accepted the necessity of compromise in order to make incremental progress on solving America's problems and to defend her from her adversaries....

    "I hope we can again rely on humility, on our need to cooperate, on our dependence on each other to learn how to trust each other again and by so doing better serve the people who elected us. Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet. To hell with them. They don't want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood.

    "Let's trust each other. Let's return to regular order. We've been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle. That's an approach that's been employed by both sides, mandating legislation from the top down, without any support from the other side, with all the parliamentary maneuvers that requires....

    The link has both video and full transcript. I recommend watching the video for the full effect, though.

    Comments

    Flake reports a death threat for "interrupting Trump" over Kav.

    Lindsey is full Trump toady for Kav.


    Graham has always been a lap dog for someone more powerful than himself. For years he was McCain's lap dog. Now he's Trump's pet. If McCain was still alive and against Kavanaugh Graham would be too. Graham has never followed an independent path, not ever.


    I listened to and watched that speech a number of times. McCain is a part of why the things he complains about came about. And he sort of admitted that kind of thing went on as long it has nothing to do with what he did, sort of.
    So I appreciate his remark, Our incapacity is their livelihood. as an observation regarding how the press cannot help but follow whatever ridiculous circumstance is being referenced at any given time but I don't buy that he had nothing to do with why this stuff is happening.


    Certainly and I think he admitted that slightly in the speech, though not strongly enough. If he had done so more strongly it might have had more impact. In any case, I suspect those colleagues he was very close with should have understood exactly what he was saying and why. Graham especially is a puzzle in his reaction to the Kavanaugh nomination, all I can surmise is that he must really really want the Supreme Court to be ultra originalist more than anything else. Because he's shown no fear of going contra Trump forces or other conservatives when he disagrees. Maybe McCain would have too.

    But the main point I am making is about the "railroading it through" technique. Everytime either party does that in the Senate they are hurting it. It's supposed to be the deliberative body that advises and consents. I definitely think a famous former conservative Senator would approve at all, Robert Byrd.

    Edit to add: Even looking at it from the point of view of a conservative about the Supreme Court, if you suspect that all of the sexual accusations are a liberal plot, what's wrong with investigating and deliberating it all to death until everyone's sick of it? Despite all the public pressure that might result from that, as a Senator you get to show the strength of your real beliefs by your final vote. Railroading it through in advance of the elections is quite simply, cowardly and shameful and disrespectful of the office they hold. One could make the case that railroading something is the only way to make sausage at the huge messy House, but the Senate is there to counter that.


    George Washington is said to have told Jefferson that the framers had created the Senate to "cool" House legislation just as a saucer was used to cool hot tea.

    https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/senatorial-saucer

    John Meacham, on either O'Donnell or Williams' MSNBC show last night, recounted this perhaps apocryphal story and said that the Senate yesterday, instead of cooling the hot tea, microwaved it instead.


    What Really Got Lindsey Graham so Steamed

    The South Carolina senator’s jeremiad wasn’t just defending Kavanaugh. He was standing up for something he loves even more: Congress.

    By Bruce Haynes @ Politico.com, Oct. 1

    What is Lindsey Graham up to?” As a native of South Carolina whose time immersed in Palmetto State politics and in Washington generally coincides with Senator Graham’s, I get that question a lot. He’s never been afraid to cut against conservative orthodoxy, saying that climate change is real and TARP was necessary. Sometimes he’s just provocative, saying if he were president we would “all drink more.” I’ve gotten more questions than ever after the fiery speech he gave Thursday during Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.

    The theories abound [....]  Was this just a ploy to guard his right flank in the event of a 2020 U.S. Senate primary? It’s a fair question. After all, Graham has never been the darling of South Carolina conservatives [....] 

    But I don’t think this concern drove his outburst, either.

    First, Graham is as authentic as Pee Dee vinegar and pepper barbeque. Publicly and privately, he takes risks, says what he thinks and doesn’t hold back. But second, and perhaps more important, he doesn’t need to do it. Graham faced primary opposition from the right in 2014 and wiped the political floor with the field. He’s a great candidate, a prolific fundraiser and would deliver the same rout again in 2020.

    No, I do not think political positioning was at the core of this at all. The reasoning was simpler and more direct. In fact, Graham said it himself and I believe him:

    “I got pissed.” [....]


    contra above:

    .@SteveSchmidtSES : Graham has been ‘corrupted by ambition’ <— happens all day, every day. https://t.co/kyGc2f3DuJ

    — Maximillian Potter (@maxapotter) October 3, 2018

    (Am surprised The Hill published this, though! Could get them cut off?)

    Edit to add more, agrees with oceankat's stated opinion, but a whole lot rantier:


    Yet another "what in the heck is eating Senator Graham" piece, this time w/interview:


    on excerpt from the above:


    What Blake sez happened, sure hope someone recorded it:

    Graham just promised to hold open a Supreme Court seat if there’s a death/retirement toward the end of Trunp’s term.

    — Blake Hounshell (powered by blockchain) (@blakehounshell) October 3, 2018

     


    (John McCain rolls over in his grave.)


    I think so, just because: not just a lack of "regular order", but more like: less than zero order.


    So much for hopes some had that his death and the way his life was spoken of might have some near-term positive effects.  Not so much, it's looking like at the moment.


    This is a very nice Twitter thread on big picture of the role of the Senate and the Kavanaugh problem by Poli-Sci professor Jennifer Victor cumulating in a link to her current Vox.com article on topic of Kavanaugh's biases breaking a "fourth wall"; click on the date below to get the full thread:

    The US Senate was designed to prevent tyranny of the majority, because James Madison knew majorities get power hungry and can deny some citizens power. But the framers conceived of citizens very narrowly, and were not generally concerned with civil rights. 1/3

    — Jennifer Victor (@jennifernvictor) October 5, 2018

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